Sweet Protection Ronin Max
2020 photos: Stan Koolen

Just last year, Sweet Protection, a helmet and protection company out of Norway, produced their first ski and snowboard goggles. This year the brand is introducing their Ronin and Ronin Max Sunglasses for cycling. The Ronin Max, reviewed here, has a larger lens for expanded vertical coverage and wider field of view.

The Ronin Max glasses probably look familiar to some, it has some similarities of the Poc Aspire, 100% Racetrap and Smith Flywheel, mix these together and you’ll get the Ronin Max.

What sets it apart from the competitors is their unique RIG ™ (Retina Illumination Grading) lens technology, developed by Sweet Protection. Last year the RIG ™ technology was introduced when they entered the market with their revolutionary and award-winning ski and snowboard goggles. This piece of technology has now been applied to cycling glasses. What RIG ™ acutally means is that the lens let through specific light frequencies to bring out the contrast in flat light conditions to provide superior contrast-enhancing vision with minimum color distortion. 

The lens is extremely solid, 2.2mm thick, with optimum optical properties and an impressive field of view. I did scratch one of the lenses after a couple of rides, but I’m not completely sure if the lens is vulnerable to scratches or if it was me not taking good care of the glasses, putting them in a drawer without the added protective case.

Speaking about the case, the glasses come in a solid white box with the Sweet Protection “S” logo on top. When you slide the box open from the bottom you will find the glasses protective case with the glasses ofcourse, a soft protective bag/glasses cloth and an extra nosepad.

When you take them out, you feel the lightness of the glasses, 33gr on my scale, not the lightest out there but this is probably due to the thicker lens. The nosepad is not adjustable for width, but comes in two different sizes, the arms come in one length and the angle can’t be adjusted. Both the nosepad and arms feature a tacky rubber. The lens is replaceable and getting it in and out is super simple, just lift and pull the upper part of the end piece of the arm, squeeze and pull the nosepad and you’re ready to swap lenses.

As the majority of time spent using glasses is looking through them, I found the Ronin Max to be very clear with a large field of view. The glasses sat securely at the key points, remaining perfectly aligned during intensive mtb rides as well as during rides battling the Dutch winds. The fact that the lens is open at the top and on the bottom means that nothing gets in the way when your head is down while riding in the drops. I’ve spend most hours riding with the RIG BIXBITE lens, an all-round lens, to be used on days with cloudy intervals to flat light. To be fair, I’ve never had a lens that did so well in all these different light conditions. Keeping a clear and constrated vision throught out the ride, out in the open in direct sunlight or with varying light conditions in the forest. Thanks to Sweet Protections unique coating on the outside and anti fog coating on the inside of the lens it kept the lens clear from sticky waterdrops and from fogging up when I stopped riding.

The glasses fit perfectly on all the Sweet Protections helmets. I’ve put them on the Falconer helmet as well as the Outrider helmet. During intensive mountbike rides they did slide forward a couple of times, so I had to push the glasses back into the helmet again, but they never fell off.

The Ronin Max glasses are lightweight and offer plenty of comfort, at least for me, the lack of any possibility to adjust the glasses to personal preference, outside the two nosepads, means that it might not be suitable for all cyclists. The retail price will be around €170,- and available through local Sweet Protection dealers or on their website here. The Ronin and Ronin MAX come in four different colors, black, grey, white, and red, with the following lenses: Obsidian Black Polarized, RIG™ Aquamarine, RIG™ Topaz, RIG™ Bixbite, Photochromic and Clear.